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Think Smart, Be Safe Around Miami

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The University of Miami strives to maintain safety on campus, but incidents can happen -- and they do.

At around 1 a.m. Saturday, two UM students were robbed at gunpoint as they walked home from an off-campus party. They were at the intersection of Miller Drive and Red Road, which is not under the University of Miami Police Department's jurisdiction.

Although no shots were fired, students shouldn't have to worry about finding themselves in such dangerous situations. Living in the Greater Miami area has its baggage. Miami is a colorful and captivating city, but students need to be aware of its potential trouble.

Many students come to UM from smaller towns where they are comfortable walking home alone at 1 a.m., leaving their belongings unattended and keeping their vehicles unlocked. Here, that's not an option.

Since the first day of classes on Aug. 22, the Coral Gables campus has had seven counts of theft, two counts of vandalism and one count of harassment, according to the Coral Gables Police Department records.

In recent years, the university has implemented safety measures such as Safety Escort Services, the Blue Light phone system and Safe Ride. Although these resources are available on campus grounds, they don't follow students off campus.

Safe Ride vehicles will take students off campus, but only to streets directly surrounding UM's perimeter. No other initiatives provide off-campus security, and UMPD cannot act outside of its zone of authority. However, 911 is always available. Operators will direct calls to the appropriate responders.

Students: Use caution when taking on the city. If you're walking somewhere, go in a group. And if you're walking alone, have your phone in hand. These are simple steps that can help you stay out of danger.

Crime can happen anywhere, at any time. You can have fun and be smart. In the words of Ice Cube, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."